Microsoft urged to make the iPad useful

In a classic effort of tail wagging the dog, Microsoft is being urged to make the iPad useful by introducing Office to the platform.

From Microsoft’s perspective this is crazy as it actually gives the iPad a function, something that it has largely lacked, and takes away any advantage from Vole’s own products. It also gives Apple a clearer entry into the BYOD craze.

Look at this Reuters story here. Reuters along with other outfits has taken to talking up Apple products, referring to them as “iconic”, “game changing” and other approved buzzwords,  as well as insisting that tablets are killing off the PC, another part of Cupertino’s reality distortion field.

In the above story Kurt DelBene, head of Microsoft’s Office unit, was asked a question about what Reuters dubbed the hot-selling iPad at a Morgan Stanley technology investor conference in San Francisco. The question “why don’t you make an office app for the iPad?” came from an unnamed source.

DelBene talked about online versions of Office apps, which can be accessed via a browser but do not offer the full richness of installed software. Vole had done some work with Apple to make sure that these are functional, he said.

Reuters clearly was not happy with this remark so accused him of “side-stepping questions” about any plans the software maker may have to bring its Office suite of applications to Apple’s iPad. One analyst, Morgan Stanley’s Adam Holt, claims the suite could generate $2.5 billion in extra revenue for Microsoft per year.

Reuters admitted that it would remove an incentive to buying Windows-based tablets, and would give Apple a huge cut of Office revenues but seems upset that the Vole is not doing it.

Instead it hit out at Microsoft for trying to steer clear of the topic in public.

Reuters wrote that over 100 million iPad owners, many of whom want to bring their devices to work, have to use the limited online versions of desktop staples Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Poor lambs, maybe they should buy something that does run this software. 

“The writer also pointed out that removing incentives to buy Windows tablets would be a blow to Microsoft’s flagship Windows unit, which although less profitable than Office, is still key to the company’s overall strategy.”

So Microsoft should be doing it why, then?